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Discussion in 'News, Announcements & Introductions' started by Shortline, Oct 3, 2012.

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  1. Dec 26, 2016 #326

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    18,736
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Welcome to AU, it's great to have another Michigander and Train lover in AU! Hopefully Winter will be brief and Mild up there in the Almost Great White North.
     
  2. Dec 26, 2016 #327

    OBS

    O

    OBS

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Webster NY
    Where in Michigan are you from?

    Grew up in Grand Haven....
     
  3. Jan 15, 2017 #328

    Austruck

    Austruck

    Austruck

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    184
    Location:
    western Pennsylvania
    I'm a writer and proofreader in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. (Go Steelers! <-----obligatory cheer required by local law)

    Grew up on the other end of the state in Easton, Pa. (home of Crayola crayons, the oldest flag in the country, and the spot of one of the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, among other things). Moved out to Pittsburgh for college in the late '70s and then just stayed here.

    I'm a 55-yr-old empty nester, married to an engineer math-brain that I have yet to figure out. (But that's okay; he hasn't figured ME out yet, either.) We have six grown kids between us, three of whom are married. Cross-country train trip has been on my bucket list forever. I'm finally going (first train trip ever!) in May of this year! And I feel like a kid at Christmas!
     
  4. Jan 27, 2017 #329

    VAtrainfan

    VAtrainfan

    VAtrainfan

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Portsmouth, VA
    44-year-old TV guy. Primary job is I.T. support, but I also push the buttons during the local news.

    Never rode Amtrak until about 3 years ago. My first train ride was in 5th grade, during a class trip. Some historical organization had restored one of the Pocahontas trains and was taking it on a promo tour. Not sure it was going all the way from Norfolk to Cincinnati, but it did go at least as far as Petersburg. Our class caught the train in Wakefield at the grade crossing, and rode to Crater Road in Petersburg (not the PTB station) where we disembarked and had to climb down a very steep hill to where a school bus was waiting to take us back down 460 to Wakefield (where our parents were parked).

    My first job was at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and it was there that I got used to "commuting" (through the park) via train. I worked on the opposite side of the park from the employee entrance and used the train to get to my work area. It was a lot easier and faster than hoofing it all the way across the park, and management actually encouraged us to ride it.

    In college, my dorm freshman year was right on the railroad tracks and I learned to distinguish between Amtrak and freight trains by the sound of their horns. The engines Amtrak used on the Carolinian in 1990/91 had higher-pitched horns than the Norfolk Southern engines, but the NS engines leaned on the horn for much longer than Amtrak. I always wanted to take Amtrak home but my parents were unwilling to drive to RVR or PTB to pick me up.

    So it wasn't until Amtrak began service to Norfolk that I took the plunge and took the NER for a spin. I was immediately hooked. My sister's family lives in York, PA and I take the NER and Keystone up to Lancaster a couple of times a year to visit. Predictably, my sister doesn't get why I take the train when driving is considerably faster (and she's not wrong: 6-hour drive, 10+ hour train ride including PHL connection). But I get to do something other than drive for those 10 hours, and not put 600 more miles on my aging Jeep.

    I'd rather save my Jeep for epic road trips, which I try to take about once every two years. Last year I drove to Toronto by way of New Jersey (detour so I could take the Cape May-Lewes ferry just for grins). And I also got to ride the TTC several times while visiting Toronto. :) I also hit four amusement parks on that trip: two in NJ, two in ON. Plus the York Fair.

    I'm also a Coaster Enthusiast and a huge air travel fan - I'm an insufferable Delta fanboy, but I'll try to keep that in check :lol: although after recently getting AGR points for flying United, I'll be flying them more often.

    Born & raised in Virginia, lived in North Carolina in the 1990s, but I have very deep Colorado roots thanks to my mom's side of the family. As such, I was raised a Broncos fan and have since become a Rockies fan. And I hope to one day take Amtrak to Denver.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2017 #330

    Big Joe

    B

    Big Joe

    Joined:
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    Retired History professor, in mid 60's. First time Amtrak traveler and kind of confused; reason for joining the forum. Thanks to all.
     
  6. Feb 6, 2017 #331

    LookingGlassTie

    LookingGlassTie

    LookingGlassTie

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    Portsmouth, VA
    I am a 40-year old CAD (Computer-Aided Drafting) Tech for the City of Chesapeake VA Public Works Department. I just took my first Amtrak trip about a week ago, and I might be taking another one this summer.

    I was born in Portsmouth, VA (my dad is retired Navy) and have lived in that area of VA all my life.

    As for Amtrak routes, I now have the Northeast Regional under my belt. Based on my travel habits, the other routes that I most likely would take are: Silver Meteor and Star, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Blue Water, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief and Pacific Surfliner.
     
  7. Feb 6, 2017 #332

    Chessie

    Chessie

    Chessie

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    160
    You have my dream job. :)

    May I ask what kind of projects do you do? Do you draft buildings? Bridges? Train tracks?
     
  8. Feb 6, 2017 #333

    rittersport

    r

    rittersport

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    I'm a retired Presbyterian minister living in Omaha. B.A. From the University of Oregon '71. M.Divinity '78 from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Many years serving civilian churches in Oregon, Idaho and Nebraska. Air Force chaplaincy years in Massachusetts, Germany and New Mexico.

    Traveled a lot on the Cascadia in Oregon and Washington. Really enjoyed traveling sleeper from Omaha to D.C. This month I'm traveling the Zepher from Omaha to Sacramento and up to the Pacific Northwest via Coastal Starlight. Love it!
     
  9. Feb 6, 2017 #334

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    18,736
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Welcome to AU fellow Train Lovers! We look forward to sharing your adventures via rail!
     
  10. Feb 6, 2017 #335

    LookingGlassTie

    LookingGlassTie

    LookingGlassTie

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    Portsmouth, VA
    Ohhh I help to prepare drawings for stormwater drainage projects, right-of-way acquisitions, easements and road improvement projects.
     
  11. Feb 6, 2017 #336

    Chessie

    Chessie

    Chessie

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
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    Sounds awesome! :)
     
  12. Feb 26, 2017 #337

    GBNorman

    G

    GBNorman

    OBS Chief AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    573
    I'm retired after a career of first Military Service (USAF; Nam 67-8), then with a railroad (70-81) holding various non-Agreement positions. During '82, I entered private practice as a CPA. which kept me "quite occupied" until my '03 retirement. My Amtrak travels are largely confined to Auto-Train most every year.
     
  13. Mar 11, 2017 #338

    Rockymtnchris

    Rockymtnchris

    Rockymtnchris

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2017
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    One mile above sea level.
    Mid-fifties long time disc jockey and still part-time entertainer in the Denver area. Married, but usually travel solo when going to visit MY relatives :p ....(Spouse has often done the same with the in-laws.) Originally from Modesto, CA with family members still in that area that I often refer to as "whine country". FWIW, outside of commuter rail, (i.e. BART), I had never set foot on "real" trains (Amtrak) until I was in my thirties, and still have never been on a cruise ship.
     
  14. Apr 1, 2017 #339

    Piper909

    Piper909

    Piper909

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Austin
    Recently retired Austin couple (University of Texas and state government), looking to travel by train as we love to do in Europe -- how does Amtrak compare? We hate flying, and long-distance drives beyond a day are too wearying and time consuming. Can Amtrak be our alternative means of travel? This is the year we want to find out, starting this fall, I hope. I'm dredging up all the information I can in advance and this forum promises to be extremely well valuable.
     
  15. Apr 1, 2017 #340

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    18,736
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Welcome from a fellow Austin resident and retired Government employee who works PT @ UT Athletics to supplement my retirement.
    I suggest you take a short trip on the Texas Eagle #22, say Austin to Ft. Worth, and book a Roomette which will include Breakfast in the Diner (Austin is last call for Sleeper passengers) and Lunch after the Temple stop.

    Once you arrive in Ft Worth consider catching the Heartland Flyer to Oklahoma City,overnite in OKC and then take Coach back to Ft Worth and on to Austin. (Last Call Lunch is served on #21 after boarding in Ft Worth, you'll have to pay for the meal in Coach or else grab a Subway or Hot Dog in the Ft Worth Station while waiting for #21 to arrive.

    This will give you a good idea of Supeiner equipped trains, both Sleepers ( check the Bedrooms out if one is empty) and Coach as well as the Diner.

    Since you are retired and are flexible in your travel plans, you can use amsnag.net, a great price comparison tool developed by an AU member where you can check fares and room upgrade charges for 30 days,at a time up to 11 months in advance. ( each of you pays the Rail Fare but the room is one price for two and includes meals in the Diner)and pick the days with the lowest fares. (Supply and Demand!)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2017
  16. Jul 17, 2017 #341

    StormySeas

    S

    StormySeas

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    I am a 56 year old RN working with cancer patients in an outpatient clinic. We live in Benton Arkansas (just outside Little Rock). We grew up in Arkansas, moved to Memphis when our kids were small then moved back a few years ago to be nearer to my family. We are working toward our retirement and hope to do more traveling. we've only taken one train trip, Memphis to New Orleans. We then went on a cruise and train home. it was a wonderful way to travel so we are planning a trip from Little Rock to LA in a few years. We will take a cruise to Hawaii from there. I am really glad I was directed to this board because I am learning so much!!! I follow cruise critic for cruise info and now I have a great place to learn about traveling by train!
     
  17. Jul 18, 2017 #342

    PaTrainFan

    P

    PaTrainFan

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    I discovered this board only a couple months ago and regret that I was so late to the game. Have really enjoyed the information and opinions shared here. I have always thought of myself as fairly knowledgeable about rail travel but have since discovered I do not hold a candle to many here. This is a daily highlight. And I am even more pleased to see this discussion topic revived so that I can get the scoop on all the major contributors here.

    I'm 58 years young and have ridden trains since I was an infant. My grandfather, who I never knew, was an engineer during the steam days of the Pennsylvania Railroad and my father inherited the train gene and passed on to my brother and me, for which I am grateful.

    I have a poor recall of dates, but in pre-Amtrak days I had the pleasure of riding such trains as the Denver Zephyr, California Zephyr, Western Star, Coast Daylight, Sunset Limited, and an assortment of very lousy PRR and Penn Central trains in the late 60s. In Canada, rode the CNR's Super Continental and Scotian, the old Rapido and Turbo trains, the CPR's Canadian and even VIA's version of the Canadian as well as the Polar Bear Express. There are many others that I cannot remember. I wish I could do as some have here by adding up my total rail mileage.

    Been on every Amtrak LD train with the exception of a few Eastern trains, including the Silver Star, the Silver Meteor and the Crescent. Those are on my bucket list.

    I became politically left of center about five years ago after following the political mantra of the right for much of my life. I am happily divorced for 18 years with two adult children in their mid 20s. I enjoy travel in all of its forms but obviously the train remains at the top of my list. I spent 18 years in private higher education in staff positions and have been in the corporate world for the last 16-plus years. Other pastimes include comedy, dining, short trips, exploring big cities and small towns, nature, high school and college sports with just faint interest in the professional world.
     
  18. Jul 18, 2017 #343

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    18,736
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Welcome to the AU World!

    Your post is living proof that you can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!
     
  19. Aug 6, 2017 #344

    Eric in East County

    Eric in East County

    Eric in East County

    Train Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    East San Diego County
    [SIZE=12pt]Although relatively new to Amtrak Unlimited, my wife Pat and I have been riding Amtrak trains across country since 1993. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio and am old enough to remember when New York Central and Nickel Plate passenger trains still stopped in the lower level of the Terminal Tower building in downtown Cleveland. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]We also had the Rapid Transit, the light rail system that we used whenever we went downtown. (Its platforms were also in the Terminal Tower, right next to the train platforms.) [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]My first cross-country train trip occurred in 1960 when I traveled from Ohio to Colorado on a special train carrying a contingent of Boy Scouts bound for the national Boy Scout Jamboree held in Colorado Springs. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Pat and I met in Columbus, Ohio when we were both music majors in college. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Shortly after graduation, I enlisted in the Navy as a musician. My first duty assignment was to a unit band stationed at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego. At that time, the water taxis between North Island and downtown San Diego used to dock at the foot of Broadway, not far from the Santa Fe’s 1915 train depot. At that time, the Santa Fe Depot was the largest and most impressive building in that particular section of the downtown area. (Little did I realize back then how often Pat and I would be using it during our future train trips.) [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]In 1971, I accepted an appointment to Naval Officer Candidate School and later served three years (in a non-musical capacity) as a junior officer on board the aircraft carrier USS RANGER. After being released from active duty, I was affiliated with a Navy Reserve Combat Camera unit, eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Following active duty, I returned to San Diego and became involved in the local professional music scene. This included playing for touring musical theater productions, participating in network TV soundtrack recording sessions, and playing in the band of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus during its annual one-week appearances in the San Diego Sports Arena. (Although I was able to take photos and shoot movie footage of the circus train being unloaded in San Diego, I will always regret not having had the opportunity to ride on it.) [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]In 1981, I returned to school under the GI Bill to earn a Masters degree in film & video production from San Diego State University. My Master’s thesis-project was a 16mm documentary film on the Lake Shore Electric Interurban Railroad, which once ran between Cleveland and Toledo. While doing location filming in northern Ohio along the old LSE right-of-way, I was often working right next to the former right-of-ways of the Nickel Plate and New York Central railroads. It was at that time that I began collecting and reading books about the great passenger trains of yesteryear such as the 20th Century Limited and the Super Chief. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Following graduation, I worked for the Navy as a civilian Teleproductions Specialist, writing, producing, and directing training videos for Navy pilots. Once, when my official duties required me to travel to Seattle, Pat and I used the Coast Starlight to get there rather than flying.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Because of my background in both music and film, in 1996 I started my own music & sound project studio. Working from my home, I prepare and record music scores for classic silent films that are released to the home video market and to TV outlets such as Turner Classic Movies. On one occasion, Pat and I had to travel to Portland when the Oregon Symphony performed one of my silent film scores. Once again, we used the Coast Starlight to get there. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Our first Amtrak cross-country train trip was onboard the Empire Builder, which we rode from Seattle to Glacier National Park in 1993. Over the years, we’ve made cross-country trips on the Southwest Chief, the Coast Starlight and the California Zephyr. (Some of our earlier trip reports are posted at the On Track-On Line website.)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]One of my hobbies is collecting and photographing vintage O-scale toy trains. (Having been born too late to photograph steam locomotives while they were still a common sight on the nation’s railroads, I use my O-scale trains to stage trackside photographs similar to the ones that railfans took back in the 1940s and 1950s.) Although I occasionally sell a photo or two to Classic Toy Trains magazine, my toy train photography work is done primarily for my own satisfaction. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=12pt]Pat and I live in Descanso, a small mountain community located about 40 miles east of San Diego. Now semi-retired, we are planning on taking even more train trips in the future. We thoroughly enjoy reading the trip reports and comments posted on the Amtrak Unlimited site and look forward to submitting more of our own trip reports. [/SIZE]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2017
  20. Apr 15, 2018 #345

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    7,509
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I’m a 15 year old high schooler with an obsession with trains, planes, and electronics. I have a small model train set and a small consumer grade flight simulator.

    I love cooking, politics, music, and AU!

    Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
     
  21. Apr 15, 2018 #346

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    18,736
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Glad you're a member. Do any of your friends also like Trains?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2018
    cpotisch likes this.
  22. Apr 15, 2018 #347

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    7,509
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thank you! Quite glad to be here! One of my friends is a big (NYC) subway fan, but I don't know anyone particularly interested in Amtrak.
     
  23. Apr 15, 2018 #348

    the_traveler

    t

    the_traveler

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    25,780
    Location:
    Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
    Not in that order I hope![​IMG]
     
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  24. Apr 15, 2018 #349

    railgeekteen

    r

    railgeekteen

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Boston area
    I am 14 year old transit fan from Boston, MA. I have loved trains for many years. I like all sorts of transportation, as well as Nintendo and the Avatar The Last Airbender TV show and Legend of Korra.
     
    cpotisch and aewanabe like this.
  25. Apr 16, 2018 #350

    flitcraft

    f

    flitcraft

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Messages:
    237
    I'm 65 years old, and a university professor in the Pacific Northwest. My interest in trains comes from riding on a month-long Eurailpass back in the 1970's, from Amsterdam to Greece and quite a few points in between. After that, my train experiences were sporadic--traveling through Poland the week before smoking was banned on trains (still cough a bit thinking of that one), the Ankara-Istanbul overnight train (where I was breathlessly informed by a couple of young American tourists to watch out for being drugged and robbed, though I suspect strongly that was an urban legend), a variety of trains in the past few years in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Malaysia, and LD trains in China (ranging from hard 'steerage' class to the ultra-fast modern intercity trains.) My first LD Amtrak train was taking the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago and then onward to Lancaster Pennsylvania to take our daughter to college almost twenty years ago. Since then, I've ridden the Coast Starlight to LA several times, the Sunset Limited to N'Awlins, and the California Zephyr from Denver to Emeryville. No Amtrak LD plans this summer, but I have booked Via's train from Toronto to Vancouver this June. This feels a little like an AA introduction: "Hi, my name is Flitcraft and I'm a railfan."
     
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